CHAIRPERSON FOR PRISON SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
A Description of Fine Cell Work
Fine Cell Work is a dynamic and original prison charity which has built itself up over fifteen years as a social business training and paying inmates to do embroidery and quilting in their cells and selling their products to the interior design trade and general public. Fine Cell Work’s originality is that the goods made by the prisoners are very high quality and the inmates themselves receive a share of the sales proceeds. This gives them the opportunity to earn and save a nest-egg for themselves and their families so they can leave prison with a sense of hope and purpose and the chance of making a fresh start.
The charity now works with just short of 500 prisoners (men as well as women) in 29 prisons yearly. All the teaching is done by fifty-eight volunteers, qualified needlewomen from the Embroiderers and Quilters Guilds. The charity’s busy office in central London, near Victoria station, is run by a team of six full-time and two part-time staff members. Forty-five volunteers are also involved in helping with needlework, design and materials tasks, and there is a showroom where customers may visit to buy and to discuss commissions. A further 200-plus volunteers help with year-round sales events.
Fine Cell Work has sold the prisoners’ hand-embroidered cushions, rugs and quilts in three continents and to top designers and received commissions from the V & A and the Jerwood Foundation. The extraordinary quality of our prison-made products can be viewed at our website www.finecellwork.co.uk. Roughly 35% of the charity’s overheads are covered by sales and the rest by donations. The prisoners receive 40% of sales, with the rest going on materials and administration.
The Chair’s role
Fine Cell Work was founded by Lady Anne Tree in 1997. Lady Anne was a prison visitor for twenty-five years, entertainments officer at HMP Wandsworth and a prison inspector as well as being Chair till 2007. The current Chair (2009 – 2012), Jean Gomm, is stepping down at the end of her three year term in the next few months and we are consequently looking for a new Chair.
We are looking for someone who will have time and commitment to give to this voluntary role, seeing it as an opportunity to have a transforming effect on the lives of offenders and on public perceptions of their worth and potential. Ideally, he or she will have considerable experience of charities or social business and possibly some experience of advocacy in relation to government and/ or prisons. But he or she will also have a rounded and business-oriented outlook, understanding that the charity's - and the prisoners' - lifeblood depends on selling itself and its products to the general public.
Fine Cell Work holds quarterly board meetings but we would hope that a Chairperson would play a fairly active role beyond these, finding ways of raising Fine Cell Work’s profile in the world of prisons and beyond as well as liaising with the Chief Executive and the various sub Committees/working groups.
There would be a time commitment of roughly a day per week in the first year but this may reduce in subsequent years. Travel expenses would be paid where necessary. The Chair would need to be able to work with a board whose diversity reflects the multi-facetedness of Fine Cell Work itself.
The contact for discussing the position is Chief Executive Katy Emck on 020 7931 9998 or email email@example.com Trustees are also available for consultation. The charity’s website is www.finecellwork.co.uk
Person Specification For New Chair
- Commitment to transforming peoples’ self worth
- Ability to move hearts and persuade minds
- Business acumen
- Willing to commit to up to a day a week in the first year – working from home
Knowledge and Experience
- Trusteeship and chairing
- Knowledge of company law
- Experience in charity work and knowledge of charity law/ governance
Useful but not essential experience
- Business/ fundraising
- Press and PR
- Some legal knowledge
- Appreciation of product design
- Experience in government and/ or politics
(in advocacy or actual employment)
- Knowledge of prison and post-prison outcomes
010412ir PAge tains the Memorab
About Fine Cell Work
Libby Purves, OBE
Gen the Lord Ramsbotham, GCB, CBE
Board of Trustees
Jean Gomm (Chair since 2009) has extensive senior executive experience in the corporate sector, international and non-profit organisations. She has over 25 years of senior strategy and development responsibilities at the OECD in Paris and is also experienced in small company management, creative industries and social enterprises. She is President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of London, a Trustee of Tomorrow's Company and the British Friends of Harvard Business School and a member of the President's Circle of the Central School of Ballet.
Selina Fellows (Vice Chair), Trustee since 2004, is a retail consultant. She has extensive retail experience from strategic planning to product development, operations and sales channels in both large and small companies. She is a Director of Whitechapel Gallery Ventures and St Paul’s Cathedral Enterprises and a Trustee of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
Paul Baker, Trustee since 2010, is currently Governor of HMP Leeds. Paul Baker was Governor of HMP Norwich from 2007 until 2010. He has worked in the prison service for 15 years.
Janet Dunlop, Trustee since 2008, is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the private equity industry for 21 years and is currently Chief Operating Officer of Lion Capital.
Anthony Gater, Trustee since 1997, previously worked as Head of Textiles and Consumer Goods for the National Economic Development Office and in economic development for charity.
Sophie Kingsley, Trustee since 2005, worked for 15 years in Human Resources, then in Financial Services as an HR Director for Barclays Capital. She started her own business EI8HT in 2005 and sold it internationally as a going concern in 2008.
Caroline Wilkinson, Trustee since 2009, has served as a volunteer for Fine Cell Work for 11 years and has wide volunteering experience for the probation service as well as charities in Africa and the Middle East. She is also a former teacher and contemporary quilter of note.
Melissa Wyndham, Trustee since 2003, is a well known interior designer with twenty five years experience in the industry, working on historic as well as modern projects for the National Trust and government as well as private clients.
There is also a voluntary Secretary to the Board, Kate Roxburgh, who prepares the Minutes of the meetings and collates sending out the Board papers.
A more detailed information pack is available on request from the Chief Executive – this contains the Memorandum and Articles, the 2012 budget, copies of the Accounts for each of the years 2008 to 2011, the strategic plan of July 2011 and the February 2012 update (inc. an organisation chart).
The executive team has recently restructured to meet the needs of the business.
Katy Emck joined Fine Cell Work as its first employee in 1997. Previously, she acted in and directed plays for Geese, a prison theatre company, before working as a literary academic and journalist.
Marketing and Sales Manager
Piero Donat joined FCW in October 2010. He has a wide range of experience in sales and marketing in the charity sector including at Shelter and Mind.
Design and Commissions Manager
Elena Hall has worked at Breast Cancer Care and Autism London and has done charitable work in South America and Mexico.
Volunteer and Programmes Manager
Kirsti Green was a news producer for television before completing a Masters in Human Rights Law. She has also worked for Amnesty International.
Studio and Commissions Specialist
Hilda Sheppard trained at the Royal School of Needlework before working at London’s most specialist needlepoint shop, Tapisserie.
Carrie McArdle is a journalist, writer and editor with wide experience in media, p.r. and promotions, marketing, recruitment, training, event management and charity fundraising.
Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator
Sophie Jordan has a degree from the University of Nottingham in Social and Cultural Studies and has worked in the banking and corporate sectors.
Helen Smith studied theology and counseling, and previously worked in the subtitling industry.
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment